Retailers see largest monthly increase despite Brexit

Highstreet jewellers are likely to see tough trading conditions continuing (Oli Scarff, Getty Images News)

Retail sales in the Eurozone rose more than expected in July, with the 19 member countries posting the largest monthly increase of the year in the aftermath of Brexit.

EU statistics office Eurostat said today that retail sales were up 1.1% following a 0.1% drop in June. Sales were up 2.9% on the year to July 2016.

Purchases of non-food items, including textiles and clothing, rose 3.2% on last year, while food drinks and tobacco sales were up 1.8%.

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Among member states for which data is available, the highest increases in total retail trade were registered in Luxembourg (+2.3%), Portugal (+1.8%) and Germany (+1.7%), while the largest decreases were observed in Slovakia (-1.1%), Sweden (-0.8%) and Denmark (-0.7%).

In the UK, retail sales rose 1.3%, the Eurostat report showed.

The boost in retail sales came in the month following the June 23 EU referendum, in a sign that consumer spending was not immediately hit by the Brexit.

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